My heart leaps up when I behold- William Wordsworth
‘ My heart leaps up when I behold’ has been composed by a famous English romantic poet William Wordsworth. The poet is a great lover of nature. For him “poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings which are recollected in tranquillity”. As poetry is the echo of human heart there is not chronology of ideas.
The poet says that his heart leaps up when he sees a rainbow in the sky. It was the beginning of his life. and now he is well grown-up. He knows that he will grow old and finally die too. As the child (past) is father (future) of the man (present); the poet wishes his days to be bound to each period (past, present and future) by natural piety, that is, natural blessing of divinely power. In this poem, the poet does not remember only the experiences of his childhood days but he gives his emotion and feeling a meaning that he wants continuity of life and nature. For him, nature is both God and Religion. The poet does not only present the reality of human life but also shows a deep respect to God and religion wishing his days to be bound each to each by natural piety.
The colourful rainbow symbolizes the continuity of the nature and colourful human life. He shows that time and nature is ongoing phenomena of universe. If there is any break in this continuation the poet wants to die. The poet also says that both are inevitable. He realized that to love Nature is to love human who is part and parcel of Nature. Nature is the great teacher and healer. In the first two lines of the poem, the poet feels his heart leaping up at the sight of a rainbow in the sky. The Nature has produced a good effect on the poetic mind of Wordsworth. The poet has been turned to the scepticism of life because of the spectrum of the rainbow.
In the third, fourth and fifth lines, the poet have manifested natural continuation of life-child, man, old man. In the sixth line there is speculation of the break in the continuation. Death is inevitable to’end the beautiful periods of life. The poet presents his main idea of the poem through seventh line, and that is paradoxical line, too. ‘The child is the father of the Man’. The poet believes children are closer to heaven and God. They are innocent. They have nature like quality. The God is innocent. He does not discriminate in the name of gender, ethnicity, geography, etc. The God has equal eyes upon all. As God is innocent the child is also as innocent as God. The child does not differentiate between l’ and ‘other’. As a result the child has god like qualities. The God is taken as the father of human beings. If the child has God like qualities, we can synonymously use child and God. In this way we can verify that the child is the father of man. The next meaning is a very child must grow to become the father of another child who will become a man. It says that the present is the outcome of the past. So, naturally the future will be the outcome of the present. It describes the natural continuation of life through the time- past, present and future. A child is born. He becomes man. Then, in family life he becomes father of another child. This is the system of nature. In another way the child age is the age to learn everything and adult age is the age to translate them into practical life. Thus, if the childhood determines manhood, we can claim that the child is the father of man.
The last two lines conclude the argument. The poet, therefore, concludes wishing that his days should be bound to each period of life by natural way with divinely pleasures.
The distinction of Wordsworth lies in the fact that to him Nature is not mere physical loneliness, but a revelation of God. He worshipped nature. He saw in all natural objects the indwelling spirit of Supreme being. To him the varied forms and phenomena were nothing but various manifestations of the divine.